How to know if a battery is dead

If you drawer at home is full of batteries and you’re not sure which ones have full life and which are nearly empty, can you work that out? We’ve heard of a simple and effective way of seeing whether your batteries are dead or full of beans.


Drop them

We wouldn’t normally suggest that you drop batteries anywhere. In fact, you really need to be careful about how you deal with them, especially how you dispose of batteries when they’re finished as they shouldn’t go in with your normal rubbish. For this reason, you’ll need to take the following under advisement, but trust us when we say that you can tell the difference between a spent battery and one that’s full of power by dropping it. The fact is that alkaline batteries that are empty are more likely to bounce than fresh ones when dropped onto a solid surface.

Good batteries

A good battery contains a gel-like substance that solidifies as electricity is discharged. This solidification process makes the battery harder which is why spent batteries bounce. When the gel is still doing it’s job, it remains in a semi-liquid form that absorbs the kinetic energy produced when the battery hits the hard surface.


Of course this is just a theory so it’s not something that you’ll be taught in a class room. In fact, academics are sceptical about this theory. A spokesperson for the Institute of Physics says that they remain unconvinced as they need to carry out their own controlled experiment but others in academia, including a senior lecturer in chemistry at the University of Portsmouth have confirmed that the theory behind this idea is sound.

No recommended

We still don’t recommend that you carry out this test yourself though. It’s far easier to just buy some more, particularly when they’re available so cheaply at places like Poundland.

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